Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cow Dung Fight

Southeast India

Pastor Kaif has boldly proclaimed the good news of Christ, covering the entire area with showings of JESUS and Magdalena: Released From Shame over the course of a couple years. Religious extremists have made multiple threats on his life, but still he persists.
On one occasion, he heard some of the extremists gathering outside his church. Aware of the danger but at a loss for what to do, he simply sat in front of his church and started praying.
A local woman—a nonbeliever—saw Pastor Kaif’s life was in jeopardy. She headed for the village and gathered 35 other women, also nonbelievers, and hurried back to the church. The throng of women shouted at the religious zealots to leave Kaif alone. “He is our church father,” the women protested, “and he is working for our sake.” Then, in an act of ultimate defiance, the mob hurled cow dung at the religious extremists. The men ran away in shame.
Since that day, Pastor Kaif’s ministry has expanded to two churches with about 120 believers. 

Thanks for making this happen! God is working through the Church Planting Movement Initiative (CPMI), a partnership between South Asia Campus Crusade for Christ® and Jesus Film Project®. The ministry strives to ensure every CPMI church planter is well-equipped biblically, relationally and personally for ministry. Mentors provide these church planters with systematic biblical teaching and training, encourage them in their faith, and guide them in establishing sustainable, multiplying churches. This creates a powerful ripple effect of national believers reaching the unreached with the power and love of Christ.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sowing Digital Seeds

North Africa/Middle East

Beth, a Cru® staff member, felt a pang in her heart as she read the email from Aisha. A resident of a country in the Arabian Gulf, the young woman hungered for love. She had problems with her husband. She had attempted suicide. She couldn’t find love in her religion, yet she wanted to know more about God. She wondered if the love she desperately needed could be found in Christ.
Aisha discovered one of Cru’s evangelistic websites through a Google search, and after getting connected with Beth via email, she and Beth started chatting in real time. Over the course of three months, the two women messaged each other every day on WhatsApp. God enabled Beth to answer Aisha’s toughest questions. Aisha asked if God loved her and if He would accept her in spite of her many problems. As Beth answered, she focused on the truth: God is the only reliable source for love. People around us don’t love us all the time, but God always does.
Beth didn’t immediately ask Aisha if she wanted to accept Jesus into her life, instead giving Aisha time to come to the point of decision. After three months, Aisha made a clear profession of faith and told Beth, “I love Jesus so much!”
Online Ministry Requires Follow-up
Beth encouraged Aisha to watch the JESUS film. Aisha did so, and afterwards she asked Beth about the parts of the film she couldn’t understand. This was the critical step. The movie opened the door to follow-up questions, allowing Beth to connect with Aisha on a deeper level.
When Aisha said she wanted to read the Bible, Beth encouraged her to read God’s Word online. Aisha started by reading the Gospel of John. After a month, she said she wanted a printed Bible. Beth knew possessing a Bible would be too dangerous in Aisha’s country. But she and Aisha put the request in God’s hands. Praying together, the women asked the Lord to provide Aisha with a hard copy of the book she had grown to love.
God Multiplies and Provides
As part of a four-part online discipleship course, Beth encouraged Aisha to tell others about Jesus. So, Aisha shared the good news with her brother. After two months, he accepted Christ. Over the course of a year, Aisha told eight people about Jesus!
Aisha also started two discipleship groups at Beth’s prompting. With a focus on spiritual multiplication, the groups studied the Bible together, and the members helped one another to grow in their faith. Two of the eight new believers also began actively sharing the gospel with family and friends.
Recently Beth received an email from Aisha. Unlike Beth’s very first email from Aisha, this message was bursting with joy. God had answered her prayer! An anonymous gift box containing Christian books and a Bible had arrived in the mail. Aisha was happy and surprised because this was God’s response to her prayer. Aisha continues to walk with the Lord, sharing her faith in Christ and discipling others who need His love. 
In North Africa and the Middle East, staff members like Beth have trained more than 800 Arab believers to share their faith online. These laborers of the harvest use digital tools to help seekers like Aisha to know the one true God, accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, and grow as His disciples. thanks for making this happen!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Follow Up On Ecuador Earthquake

When the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador on April 16, 2016, the impact was massive. A reported 668 people lost their lives and 16,600 were injured.
When it happened, we responded with both humanitarian aid and the "gospel on film." Because of the response, both aid and 12 sets of film equipment were provided to teams caring for the people of Ecuador.

Lives were touched and transformed; here is one example:
A young man named Jonathan had a drug problem. For that reason, he was ashamed to go to the church. But one day the youth leader invited him to a movie dinner at the event room. As the event was not going to be in the church, he agreed to go. Jonathan seemed to be enjoying dinner a lot. He also really enjoyed the movie ("JESUS"). At the end of the dinner, Jonathan, moved by the film, decided to accept Christ in his heart. He left his shame aside and decided to take different steps. After accepting Christ, he asked the youth leader if he could be part of the church.
And, here's a brief report of what God has done because of your prayers and financial support.
  1. More than 5,000 have come to faith in Christ.
  2. 2,000 new small group fellowships have been formed.
  3. 196 new churches or missional communities have been established.
Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving. Please continue to lift up the work and pray for these thousands of new Christians who—for the first time— truly celebrated Easter. And know that your partnership is really making a difference in the lives of people!
Until everyone sees Jesus, 
Tez and Christine